Cologne

Albert Oehlen

Galerie Max Hetzler

The paintings in this exhibition don’t have titles, just small parenthetical indications that serve to identify them, such as “American flag,” “Lichtenstein,” “Weapon,” “Cross,” and “Street.” Not only do they offer disclaimers of classical techniques (for example, the flag painting alludes to Jasper Johns), they also stabilize the artist’s work. The path Albert Oehlen has taken is made up of countless salient advances, activities (including nonartistic ones), and revisions, which, almost imperceptibly, but more and more powerfully, have exposed one of today’s most convincing responses to the issues of painting.

The paintings reproduced in the catalogue were executed before those shown in the present exhibition. They consist of strange, untidily stylized letters forming words and sentences, painted on abstract or semiabstract canvases. The following sentence winds around an interior vault

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